U of O Watch mission, in the words of Foucault...

"One knows … that the university and in a general way, all teaching systems, which appear simply to disseminate knowledge, are made to maintain a certain social class in power; and to exclude the instruments of power of another social class. … It seems to me that the real political task in a society such as ours is to criticise the workings of institutions, which appear to be both neutral and independent; to criticise and attack them in such a manner that the political violence which has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them." -- Foucault, debating Chomsky, 1971.

U of O Watch mission, in the words of Socrates...

"An education obtained with money is worse than no education at all." -- Socrates

video of president allan rock at work

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Lewis v. Rancourt::: U of O Senate shuts down rather than discuss open court principle

Is it the governing academic body at "Canada's university" or is it a lemonade stand?

Two elected Members of the University of Ottawa Senate duly submitted a motion to their Senate -- the highest governing body of the institution on all academic and freedom of expression matters -- to discuss the open court motion submitted to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which would make the anticipated cross-examination of U of O president Allan Rock open to the public and media, regarding why the President decided to fund plaintiff Joanne St. Lewis' private litigation against defendant Denis Rancourt.

Instead of adding the Senate motion to the agenda, as required by the rules, VP-Governance Diane Davidson, an outsider hand-picked by Allan Rock, decided instead to simply shut down Senate and not have the April meeting of the institution's largest and most significant democratic body.

Davidson justified her move by asserting that the courts had already ruled on the open court principle as it applies to cross-examinations, in contradiction to a recent Statement from the Civil Liberties Association, National Capital Region:

Of course Davidson's "reason" is just bad lemonade because: (1) the Court allows the cross-examinations to be public if both sides agree, and (2) the Court's decision in question is scheduled for leave to appeal.

This follows the recent sudden departure without notice or explanation of second-in-command VP-Academic Francois Houle, to which the academic community's response was... deafening silence.

Not democracy's finest hour at the institution once known for integrity and institutional continuity.

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